the Hampden Debate.

What a wee cracker of a night.

Note that both – BOTH – major political parties ducked the issue, and the opportunity.

Shame on you both. On behalf of my kids, and theirs; shame shame and thrice shame.

I call it criminal, at this juncture.

The evening started with a ‘sustainable’ meal-on-a-budget, from Fleur Sullivan. Smoked cod’s heads, fish-liver pate, yummy asparagus soup, seaweed scones….  bloomin’ marvellous!

Then we got to the debate:

“PROMOTING CONTINUOUS ECONOMIC GROWTH PER SE IS A SOUND NATIONAL STRATEGY TO SECURE OUR CHILDREN’S FUTURE”.

In the Chair, Alex Familton. For the Affirmative, Gerry Eckhoff, Bruce McNab and aul Hansen. For the Negative, Rod Oram, Te Radar and Susan Krumdiek.

My appraisal:

Alex Familton is old-school polite, but a buffoon. Any original thinking long since past.

Gerry Eckhoff suffers from predisposition. Like most (all) at that end of the spectrum, he needs a certain answer, so argues from that basis. “the world has never run out of anything” was one of his private comments later. He then drove home past a raft of worked-out gold mines.

Bruce Mc Nab ditto. This however, is probably a nice, sincere, well-meaning man. Certainly brave enough to attend, which places him well ahead of all the National Party, all the Labour Party, and a host of others. His arguments were a non-event ….tame, old, and totally refutable. Much like having a Jehovah’s Witness at the door. You can prove he’s wrong, but he won’t listen.

Paul Hansen – never met him, but I will endeavour to do so. I suspect a fine intelligence, and a disquiet about some of the assertations being promulgated from his team. I suspect, indeed, that his understanding would naturally fit with the negative.

Rod Oram. Ah Rod. Third time I’ve heard you in the last wee while (apart from Nat Radio and the SST) and I think I’m getting you sussed. You are religious, and I suspect you suffer from that being overlaid on top of your actual understanding. Clearly, you’re a man of huge heart and compassion, and I think that – deep down – you know we’re in the shit. In response to my question (re doubling time) you acknowledged that “if we carry on the trajectory we’re on, we will crash”. Quite right. But then, you address – not for the first time – our ‘obligation’ to feed 10 billion by 2050. That ain’t going to happen. Also, you have the need to remain publicly credible, and the public is firmly of a growth track.

Te Radar – a consummate pro. Perfect one-worders, pitched at the right level and time. Clearly not stupid, and I suspect he knows the science and the maths rather well. At times, spoke from the heart.

Susan Krumdiek. A conundrum withing an enigma, or something. Here is a big heart, an honest heart, and an engineer. Not, though, a conceptual maths person. She doesn’t get growth, or the exponential function. I’ve heard her a few times, and I think there is a place for the proactive stuff she does, but we need folk in her position to have the bigger picture firmly in mind. I’m not sure she’s there – but I’d trust her with my life, if you see what I mean.

The audience was an already-informed one, with about three exceptions. But well-behaved, and supportive -appreciative even – of the bravery of Gerry and Bruce in fronting.

A great night out, good people everywhere. The biggest sadness I had, was that complete absense of the National and Labour Parties.

Shame on you both. This is important. You were absent. There is no excuse.

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